Oxford Vaccine Shows Promise Ahead of the Competition

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Sarah Gilbert leads the University of Oxford team that developed their Covid-19 Vaccine candidate. Oxford made a deal back in April with AstraZeneca to work on the global manufacturing and distribution in addition to securing more trials. Gilbert and her team are so far ahead of the competition that they will likely finish their large 10,000-person trial before other vaccine candidates even begin testing close to that level.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), however has warned a bit of caution saying, “You’ve got to be careful if you’re temporarily leading the way vs. having a vaccine that’s actually going to work.”

The US FDA has declared that a potential vaccine would need to be at least 50% more effective than a placebo in order for approval but Gilbert believes in her vaccine stating that she believes the Oxford vaccine has an 80% chance of being effective and that she believes they will know by September.

It is important to remember that a successful vaccine likely won’t be 100% effective, no matter who wins the race to put the first candidate to market.

Gilbert said, “In order to determine vaccine efficacy for any novel coronavirus vaccine, the trial has to be set up in the right place at the right time, and that’s very hard to predict,” she said. “It’s why we’re planning to do multiple trials in multiple countries.”

How the vaccine performs in a larger and more diverse group like Gilbert suggests will determine whether the Oxford vaccine will help end the pandemic, or if we will continue to wait on a different vaccine candidate.

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